TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP URGES CONFEREES TO CUT THE FAT FROM TRANSPORTATION SPENDING

For Immediate Release Contact: Jim Campi or Aaron Taylor
September 17, 1999 (202) 467-5300

 

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste identities

more than $500 million in pork in the Transportation Appropriations bill.

(Washington, D.C.) – In a letter to conferees, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), America’s largest taxpayer watchdog group, urged the members of the Fiscal 2000 Transportation Appropriations Conference Committee to cut the fat out of the $49.5 billion spending bill.  According to CCAGW, the House and Senate bills contain at least 181 earmarks costing taxpayers more than $500 million.

“Conference committee members routinely use their authority to slip even more bacon into already pork-laden bills,” stated CCAGW President Thomas A. Schatz in the letter.  “These parochial pork-barrel projects are not only bad policy, they are also bad for the taxpayers of America.”

Among the frivolous and ill-considered morsels in this year’s transportation spending bill (H.R. 2084) are:  $4 million for a single road in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska; $2 million for the Center for Excellence at the West Virginia Constricted Facility Center; and $1 million for the National Welfare to Work Center at the University of Illinois.  There’s even $300,000 in the Senate report for something called a National Vegetation Center at the University of Northern Iowa.  “Clearly, these porcine projects have nothing to do with this nation’s transportation priorities,” Schatz said.

In the letter, Schatz noted that conferees have a unique opportunity to cut unnecessary spending from appropriations bills.  “Given the chorus of complaints this year over supposedly strict budget caps, it would be the height of hypocrisy to squander precious tax dollars on pork-barrel projects,” Schatz remarked.

Schatz concluded the letter by imploring conferees to excise the pork in this spending bill:  “I urge you to meet your unmistakable obligation to the taxpayers and cut the fat out of this bill.”

CCAGW is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.

 

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